More and more people than ever seem to suffer from food intolerances, which can cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset, headaches, weight loss, skin problems, and mouth sores.
Some of the more common food sensitivities stem from normal biological changes that occur in most aging mammals. Others, however, stem from harmful, artificial toxins contaminating our food supply.
So, today, let’s talk about two of the most common food sensitivities plaguing society and what you can do about them in the new year…
Most dairy intolerance stems from biology
Mammals first appeared on the planet more than 200 million years ago and came to predominance about 60 million years ago. One common trait that greatly helped with their survival over the millennia is that female mammals produce milk to breastfeed their young.
So, why do some of us today have trouble digesting milk and dairy products from animals as we get older…while others do just fine with them?
Well, when mammals are young, they make an enzyme called lactase to digest the lactose (sugar) present in their mother’s milk. Then, as they mature, many species no longer drink milk. So, they typically stop producing the lactase enzyme. And without it, they have a difficult time digesting lactose.
As of today, experts estimate that about two-thirds of adults worldwide have some degree of “lactose intolerance.” And geography seems to play a big part. For example, it’s particularly common in East Asia—where, not coincidentally, there is no dairy food industry.
However, over many generations, in areas of the globe where they herded cattle, camels, goats, or sheep and made traditional dairy products (such as cheese and yogurt), people retained their ability to produce lactase enzymes into adulthood and grew more tolerant of lactose. For example, almost 95 percent of populations in northern Europe tolerate lactose and most dairy quite well.
Why full-fat dairy is so good for you
As I often report, full-fat dairy contains many nutrients essential for good health. Including protein, vitamins A, B, and D, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium (which you should only get from foods). So you should aim to enjoy a serving of it with each meal of the day.
Of course, if you find you have trouble digesting dairy as you get older, I don’t recommend resorting to “fake” dairy like almond milk and imitation cheese.
Instead, simply limit your dairy consumption to traditional cheeses and plain yogurts—as they will likely cause much less GI upset.
That’s because cheese and yogurt contain loads of healthy probiotic bacteria, which reduce the lactose and most digestive problems associated with other types of dairy, like milk or cream. The healthy probiotics in cheese and yogurt also reduce or eliminate the sugar content and improve the overall health of your GI microbiome—which is critical for your body and brain!
Plus, as you know, cheese and yogurt are key components of the Mediterranean diet—the healthiest diet on the planet. (Although the “experts” don’t talk about it very much, as it doesn’t fit their anti-fat narrative.)
Now, let’s move onto another common food sensitivity…
Gluten-free diets on the rise
Gluten is a protein found in wheat. And even though it’s been around for 10,000 years, many people now blame it for a variety of common health problems—including diarrhea, bloating, headaches, fatigue, canker sores…you name it.
However, as I’ve reported before, just 1 percent of the population actually suffers from celiac disease, which is the genetic inability to digest gluten. (You take a blood test to determine if you suffer from it.)
On the other hand, as I concluded years ago, some experts now think that if you get a negative result on the celiac blood test, but still suffer from GI “intolerance” to gluten, then you really have an intolerance to glyphosate (the herbicide in Roundup®).
Farmers spray this toxin on 95 percent of the wheat in our food supply. And when you eat this tainted wheat, the glyphosate poisons healthy bacteria within your GI microbiome, causing a host of health problems. Some studies even link glyphosate to cancer!
In the end, the whole gluten-free craze is just another marketing gimmick that so-called “health food” companies push to sell over-priced, processed breads, waffles, and other confections.
So, if you feel GI disturbances after eating regular grain bread, try switching to organic bread (which, by law, cannot contain wheat treated with glyphosate or any other artificial chemical). We always keep a loaf or two of whole grain bread called Ezekiel 4:9 in the refrigerator or freezer. It contains certified organic grains and no artificial chemicals or preservatives (which is why it’s kept refrigerated). And I’m a big fan.
As I always remind you, on the sensible and satisfying Mediterranean diet, you can enjoy whole organic grains like Ezekiel bread in moderation. (Refresh your memory by checking out the January 2019 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“Your ultimate guide to eating right in 2019—and beyond”]. Not yet a subscriber? Become one today!)
So this year—and every year—strive to make sustainable, commonsense dietary choices. The more your diet parallels natural, traditional ways of eating—as in getting your food from both plant and animal sources—the more your body, environment, and local agriculture will benefit. And that’s something we can all feel good about.
“How Cheese, Wheat and Alcohol Shaped Human Evolution.” Smithsonian Magazine, 3/13/2018. (smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-cheese-wheat-and-alcohol-shaped-human-evolution-180968455/)